Catch and Eat: From Fishing to Recipes for Dorado and Tuna

Fishing for Dorado and Snapper

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I love to eat fish and some of my favorite recipes include tuna, dorado and snapper.  So when there is an opportunity to go out and catch one, and then enjoy it later that night for dinner that to me is ideal. Plus, there is nothing more sustainable than catching your own dinner instead of relying on large scale commercial fishing. In Costa Rica, while there is a catch and release policy for most large game fish as well as vulnerable fish populations. There are still quite a few fishes out there that are available to catch, and yes, take home to prepare many different ways. And if you’re on vacation, many of resorts and hotels will prepare your catch for you upon request.

For thousands of years, humans have fished.  Nothing tastes better than fish caught and enjoyed the same day.  It is also rewarding to know that what is on your dinner plate is the result of your own effort and hard work.  And if you are a sushi fan, well then you know that there is nothing better than eating fish that day.  There are lots of recipes and with all the fresh fruit and vegetables available to you in Costa Rica, you can definitely prepare a fantastic dinner.

However, this tradition of catching and eating your dinner is threatened by the increasing vulnerability of world fish populations. Right now climate change threatens global food security and this includes fisheries. One billion people depend on fish as their main source of protein. As temperatures rise, fish are migrating from the tropical waters to the colder waters, as well as populations collapsing all together. It is expected that poorer nations and islands will experience the impact of this fisheries collapsing before rich countries. The collapse of fisheries poses an obvious threat to the global food supply not to mention sport fishing itself.  When you practice sustainable fishing, be it catching your own dinner or following the regulations regarding catch and release policies, you participate in part of the solution.

In the meantime, I thought I’d include some great ideas for dorado, tuna and snapper.  Sushi and ceviche are best preparations for eating fish caught the same day. While for many people it is preferable to catch your own, you can always just go for the splendid dinner and if you are staying at Crocodile Bay, the chefs there will be sure to take care of you.

Here are two of my favorite recipes for freshly caught fish.

Ceviche: Fresh Caught Fishing Recipes

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Recipe for Ceviche

2 lbs white fish fillets (dorado, red snapper, tuna, tilapia, etc)
1 cup lime juice (about 8-10 large limes)
1 small onion, finely diced
5 medium tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
Saltine crackers

Serves 6 appetizer portions.


Sushi Rolls: Fishing for Dinner

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Recipe for Spicy Dorado Rolls

  •  4 cups of sushi rice
  • 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • ½ lb dorado
  • 1 cucumber
  •  1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon togarashi

Chop dorado and cucumber. Mix with mayonnaise and togarashi. Put a nori sheet on top of a bamboo mat (makisu). Spread sushi rice on top of the nori sheet. Sprinkle sesame seed on top of the sushi rice. Place the tuna mixture lengthwise on the rice. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder. Press the bamboo mat firmly and remove it from the sushi. Cut the rolled sushi into bite-sized pieces.

Yields: 4 rolls